Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

22 Av 5766 - August 16, 2006 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










Produced and housed by
Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Miracles Amid the Missiles: Northern Residents Share Tales of Hashgochoh Protis

By Yechiel Sabar

Not a single Tiberian was free of fear following that terrible Shabbos when a missile rammed into an apartment building on Rechov HaRav Werner in the chareidi neighborhood of Kiryat Shmuel there. Several more missiles struck the city, but for chareidi residents the missile that landed right in their neighborhood was more real. On Motzei Shabbos many residents were already fleeing the city. One local business owner told Yated Ne'eman that in his building only one tenant stayed put. His family went to Jerusalem, but he had to stay behind to tend to his factory.

The Daf Yomi Shiur That Saved Lives

Shabbos Kodesh Parshas Pinchos, 1:00 p.m. At the Friedman home in Tiberius the siren sounded in the middle of their seudah, bringing their oneg Shabbos to an abrupt end as the Katyushas started to land.

Four hours later R' Yosef Friedman was getting ready to go to his regular Daf Yomi shiur at Beis Knesses HaShloh on Rechov HaRav Werner. But this Shabbos, as can be expected, he was not feeling well. Thoughts on what had transpired and what was liable to transpire weighed heavily upon him. Had he known what awaited him, he might have felt even worse.

The maggid shiur, HaRav Meir Pinto, was scheduled to give a shiur on Yuma 38. R' Yosef looked at the daf and found it fairly straightforward. A series of incidents and the unusual circumstances led him to the decision he would not attend the shiur this time. He told his wife he could learn the daily daf later. If another volley of Katyushas fell he ought to be home with his family, he added. But she wouldn't hear of it.

"You shouldn't break your routine," she said. "You are so conscientious about going. It's enough that Nasrallah, yimach shemo, ruined our Shabbos meal. Let's not let him ruin the shiur for you, too."

He heeded his wife's advice and went to shul. At 6:00 p.m. his house took a direct hit.

HaRav Yitzchok Dovid Grossman, the rov of Migdal Ha'emek, also experienced a personal miracle during the course of the chessed activities he performs in communities around Northern Israel through his institutions. "During one of our visits in the North, we went from one bomb shelter to the next, handing out gifts to boost the children's spirits. We were standing outside near Acco when suddenly the siren sounded. I ran for shelter and a Katyusha fell right where I had been standing. This was an instance of Hashgochoh Protis, clearly showing how everything is directed from Above in detail."

HaRav Grossman relates another miracle that took place when a Katyusha fell at Kfar Giladi at the beginning of last week, exacting a high toll. When thousands of children residing all year at his Keren Ohr institutions in Migdal Ha'emek were sent to dormitories rented in the Central Region, HaRav Grossman offered to make their dorm rooms available to soldiers summoned for combat duty in Lebanon. A group of soldiers arrived in the North to prepare to roll out and were supposed to be in Kfar Giladi along with their fellow soldiers. But because of the invitation some 600 soldiers went to his dorms instead.

We spoke with HaRav Grossman as he was busy making the rounds of the bomb shelters in the North, starting in Marom HaGalil and working his way south, handing out supplies. "We have 250 fans, Mei Eden water coolers, Materna and gifts to distribute to those staying in bomb shelters," he says. "People don't know what northern residents are going through. They are spending weeks in stifling, crowded bomb shelters in extremely trying conditions. It's horrendous and it's a mitzvah to help them and offer them encouragement."

When the war broke out in the North, Rav Grossman organized a chain of sleep-away summer camps for 6,000 children living within range of the Katyushas. "The financial burden is beyond our ability to bear," he said.

Due to the financial strain, gedolei Yisroel issued a special kol korei calling on the public to support this tremendous project. "Almost every child has a story about being saved and of Hashgochoh protis," says HaRav Grossman.

A Missile in the Bedroom

HaRav Avrohom Tzvi Margalit, the rov of Carmiel which has absorbed several barrages of Katyusha attacks, told Yated Ne'eman that he saw miracles on a daily basis. "There were many instances of Hashgochoh protis," he says.

When the war broke out he told the avreichim to leave the city, but meanwhile made sure a minyan remained to preserve it spiritually.

Just days after sending off the students at the local yeshiva, a missile fell on the roof and shrapnel hit the students' beds.

"One Shabbos I asked an avreich who lives in the city to stay for Shabbos so we could organize a minyan to hold tefillos in a certain neighborhood. The family was very hesitant to agree to my request. Eventually the avreich agreed to stay. On Sunday morning a Katyusha fell in their yard while the avreich and his wife were in their home. Through chasdei Shomayim nothing happened to them. Immediately afterwards he told me he was sure he was saved from the missile in the merit of staying in the city to preserve the ruchniyus of the place."

Yeruchom of Moshav Meron fled his home towards the beginning of the war after a Katyusha rocket struck the home of his neighbors, the Itzkovitzes, killing a woman and her grandson visiting from Nahariya Hy"d. Yeruchom stayed with his family in Kfar Avraham in Petach Tikva at a huge guest facility Ezer Mitzion rented for northern refugees.

"We were walking to the Shabbos night tefilloh at Rashbi's gravesite in Meron," he recalls. "Walking down the road we passed the Itzkovitz home and a minute and a half later heard a whistling sound and the tremendous noise of the Katyusha falling. We were saved miraculously. Just a minute and a half earlier we were right beside the house. Just from the shock waves the inner doors of an adjacent building were torn off their hinges and a tractor tire burst. On Motzei Shabbos we fled along with many of the other moshav residents."

Everyone seems to have a story of Hashgochoh protis to share. Sholom of Tzfas also stayed at the guest facility in Kfar Avraham. "I live in very close proximity to Ziv Hospital," he told Yated Ne'eman, "and I saw the missile flying close overhead toward the hospital. When the missile struck it, our whole building shook. After two weeks in bomb shelters, and after seeing the missile go right by us, we fled the area.

"Prior to this an incident of Hashgochoh protis happened to me. I was looking for an open gas station where I could fill up. I chose a certain gas station that was open, at the same time a missile fell at the nearby gas station. It was a miracle I didn't go there."

Sholom says his children have been traumatized by the war. "I have a three-and-a-half-year-old daughter and just at the sound of a shell she starts screaming in fear."

Rabbi Yitzchok Reich, head of the Rechasim City Council, told Yated Ne'eman about an enormous miracle that happened to him. "On Motzei Shabbos, a baal teshuvoh who lives in the city called me, brimming with excitement. He told me his sister lives in Kiryat Yam. At 8:00 on Shabbos morning northern residents were awakened by a blaring siren. His sister bolted upright and woke up her husband. `The siren!' she shouted hysterically, telling him to come into the reinforced room. `Leave me alone,' he replied. `Let me sleep.' But his wife insisted, dragging him into the protected room. As soon as they closed the door a missile landed in their bedroom.

"If that's not a miracle, what is?" says Rabbi Reich, who was overcome with excitement as well.

Saved by the Handout

A week-and-a-half ago a Katyusha rocket landed on an apartment. Through chasdei Shomayim nobody was hurt. When we looked for the apartment owner, it turned out he had just left to help Chasdei Naomi hand out food to needy families. His life was saved in the merit of chessed.

"With mesirus nefesh the volunteers go from house to house and from bomb shelter to bomb shelter," says a Chasdei Naomi representative. "At the beginning of the war the chairman of the organization, Rav Yosef Cohen, gave orders not to send workers to the North until they were outfitted with shrapnel vests and protective gear we did not have.

"One day one of the truck drivers did not answer any of the phone calls the organization placed to him. We thought he was at home. At the end of the day we found out he had gone to the North to hand out foodstuffs to families all day. `I got a `Tzav 8' [the designation of an army order to report for duty immediately] to hand out food to needy families,' he said."

During the course of the distribution the sirens sounded. The truck driver and the other volunteers ran for cover. The missile fell nearby, sending one of the volunteers flying onto a bed of tomatoes. At first his fellow workers were alarmed, but when they saw the red juice they realized no harm had been done -- except to the tomatoes that had been squashed.

Well before the cease-fire was announced, Chasdei Naomi was already busy working with the local authorities on efforts to rehabilitate families that sustained damages during the attacks.

Another remarkable incident transpired in Tzfas last week when a missile landed on the building at Rechov Tzahal 9. A woman who lives in the building told Yated Ne'eman that the tenants were given a special warning to go down into the bomb shelter just minutes before the missile struck. "On many occasions we stayed in the building rather than going down to the bomb shelter, but this time we received a special warning," she said.

All of the tenants went down and about ten minutes later a missile fell on the building. "Everyone in the bomb shelter burst into tears. It was really scary. People who don't live in these places don't know what residents go through. Right after the incident we fled from the city. I have a two-year- old daughter suffering from trauma. Even when a door slams she runs and shouts that she heard a boom. It's really frightening and we witnessed one of the miracles of this war."

Workers at Tzohar recall another miracle experienced by dozens of northern residents attending a seminar that the outreach organization hosted in Jerusalem. A bus of participants traveling from Haifa to Jerusalem passed through Nesher to pick up additional families, including some who had seen missiles fall near their home. Just moments after the bus pulled out, the sirens blared.

Following the ordeals they had gone through and weeks of high stress most of the passengers went into a state of panic. Some passengers whisked out Tehillim and together began to recite Tehillim as missiles fell in open areas nearby. "We were saved through the merit of Tehillim," one of the passengers later said.


These are just a few the many instances of Hashgochoh protis and miracles that took place on a daily basis in the North.

One instance of Hashgochoh protis was even reported out of range of the rockets.

A call came into the office of Modi'in Illit Council Head Rabbi Yaakov Guterman, saying that a local host family that took in a displaced family from the North lacked the means to feed them. "The refrigerator is empty," a neighbor reported worriedly.

Just then a call came in on the other line. "I'm an elderly woman and live alone, so I can't host a family from the North," said the caller, "but I really want to take part in hosting the families. I'd like to donate NIS 3,000 to a family of limited means that is hosting a family from the North . . . "

Truly a zivug min HaShomayim.


All material on this site is copyrighted and its use is restricted.
Click here for conditions of use.